Showing posts with label earthquake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label earthquake. Show all posts

19 January 2012

Visiting Central Christchurch

The other weekend I ventured in to the central city, which was for the first time in almost a year (for obvious reasons...)

It was surreal walking down the quiet streets that used to be full of people, and there were so many gaps from buildings that have been demolished that in some places it was hard to remember what used to be there. Add some more damage from the latest earthquakes, scrawled messages across buildings from Urban Search and Rescue checking for survivors back in February, and most of the areas still fenced off - it was still a bit overwhelming.

The reason I wanted to go back to the city was because of some new developments, mainly the new Restart Project which has brought back some of the original shops and cafes in buildings made out of shipping containers:

I was really impressed! If you want to brave a visit to the shaky city* then definitely check it out.

* I haven't noticed an earthquake so far today though, fingers crossed this lasts for a while longer!

03 September 2011

Something Wicked This Way Comes

The other night I took a trek over to Lyttelton for a performance of Macbeth. Since the usual venue still needed repairs after the earthquake, the performers had found an alternative amongst the rubble of some buildings that had been torn down. A covered seating area had been set up for the audience but the rest of the set was open to the elements and included the remains of a wall, pools of dirty water, and crumbling foundations.

We settled in with some chocolate brownie, mulled wine and hot chocolate to keep the cold at bay, but I soon forgot about it as the show started with a pretty brutal fight scene and carried on the intensity.
When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly 's done, When the battle 's lost and won.
- Act I, Scene I 
I'd been looking forward to seeing the three witches (which were the only part I could really remember from studying Macbeth at school) and was impressed when one of them did some fire eating!

One of the highlights was the ghost of Banquo, which was so well done. The character was murdered in one of the pools of muddy water which were part of the set, and was shielded from view by some concrete foundations. I'd been keeping an eye out and was starting to get a little worried about the actor who was still lying in the water a few minutes later, and it was a cold night! But it made the appearance of Banquo's ghost very dramatic when he finally emerged from the pool covered with filthy water to stalk Macbeth.
Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.
- Act V, Scene V
I've only been to a couple of Shakespeare performances before, but both of them have been so good that I can't wait until the next one!

10 March 2011

After the Earthquake

After two weeks with no electricity our power is finally back on! The first week wasn't so bad, the novelty of cooking on a gas stove and reading by torchlight felt like a camping adventure. The second week was less fun, but still bearable. The thought of a third week was not good at all, cold showers and early nights are no fun on a regular basis!

Luckily we had the chance to escape to Kaikoura for the last couple of weekends, which made the dog happy too.

The chickens also seem to be happy at the moment, they've been on a laying rampage since the earthquake. Now that we have power again (power!) I might just have to bake a cake to use the egg surplus. Any recipe recommendations?

24 February 2011

6.3 Earthquake

When the shaking started I was expecting just another aftershock. It was very intense and over quickly and didn't really leave any time to think. All I could do was hold on to the door frame and try to stay on my feet while everything shook violently. I managed to stop the TV next to me from falling, but the large bookshelf toppled onto the sofa and glass jars and bottles fell out of the pantry and smashed on to the floor.

I went to check on the animals with my hands shaking and heart pounding, and luckily everything seemed to be fine. I didn't realise how serious the earthquake was, I thought it was just a smaller quake but centred closer to home. I got in touch with Owen and my family to let them know I was alright, it wasn't until I went out onto the street and saw water gushing everywhere from the broken mains that I started to think that things might be serious.

I started cleaning up in the house, waiting for Owen to get home, and hoping that the water coming up the driveway wasn't going to get much closer. When he arrived the street was a huge mess. A car had fallen through the road right outside our gate, and there was water and sand everywhere.

We started trying to get in touch with friends, but the network was overloaded and messages were being delayed, sometimes for hours. We were listening to a battery operated radio (all power and water went off as soon as the quake happened) and started to understand the scale of the disaster. When I heard that two buildings had collapsed in town I started to get worried about one of my friends, and the worst was confirmed when I heard she was trapped in one of the buildings. She'd been in contact with people and urban search and resuce were trying to get survivors out, but it was a very tense night waiting for news and still being jolted by aftershocks. It was such a relief when we heard that she'd been rescued and was going to be alright.

The next day we spent most of the time cleaning up, tracking down some food and water, and listening to the radio for updates. Judging by the state of our suburb it will be days or weeks before power and water are restored, but luckily we have friends on the other side of town where we can access both. It will be a while before things can go back to normal, we're just thankful that our friends and family have made it through.

13 September 2010


When the 7.1 earthquake hit Christchurch last weekend we were out of town, and had been planning on going home that morning to move out of the gingerbread house. It was a bit worrying as we drove back not knowing what we were going to find! Fortunately our belongings were mostly fine (just a couple of things broke when they fell off shelves) but the house itself wasn't in the best shape...

The liquefaction and cracks weren't that bad (especially compared to some areas), but because the property is really close to a river the ground wasn't that stable and one corner of the house is on quite a lean. It wasn't a problem for us moving out, especially as we had already organised to stay with a friend for the next week, but luckily the land lord has insurance because apparently it isn't fit to be lived in anymore.

Before the earthquake we had been ready to settle on our new house (!!!) on Friday, but things were looking a bit uncertain when insurance companies started backing out of all new policies in Christchurch. Owen had managed to confirm our insurance the day before the earthquake and a builder had inspected the new house to make sure there was no damage, but the bank was still having difficulty making a decision about whether to go ahead with the purchase.

We had a deadline of 3.00pm on Friday, otherwise settlement would have to be delayed for a few days or possibly weeks, and at 2.50pm the bank finally confirmed! It was a very tense day, and I spent most of it trying not to huddle in a corner and cry. But everything worked out OK, and we moved in on Saturday!

There's still a lot of unpacking to do, but I took a few before photos of the house since we have plans to do a bit of work on it. If you'd like to have a look, here they are. I'm planning on posting some after photos as we make progress!